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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Lee Hahn’

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

 

Gratitude takes many forms.  Gratitude for my online community means writing a haiku-a-day in December.  Mary Lee posted the challenge, and Michelle is curating all the bloggers participating. We are all using #haikuforhealing.

haiku-clouds

 

I also feel gratitude for poetry and for authors who promote poetry in the classroom.

Poetry has the power to transform a classroom environment.  On Friday I went off the lesson plan path and shared a new book that I received at NCTE16 from Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong, the partnership behind Poetry Friday anthologies.  Just You Wait is their latest anthology.  I love the new way this one is designed with a poem from an outside poet, a response poem from Janet, and a poem writing activity from Sylvia.  The subtitle reads  “A Poetry Friday Power Book”, and it certainly packed a good punch in my classroom.

After showing my students a picture of Margarita Engle (by looking at her picture, we knew she was of a different race, but which one?), I read her poem “Who am I?”.  This poem speaks of the half Cuban she is and how there is no bubble on the form for being half.  I have bi-racial students, so we talked honestly about what this means.

We also discussed the mentor text poem and how the end is like a punch line that makes you think.  So my students and I wrote together using the form “Today I am someone who…” I could not have predicted the impact this exercise would have on my students.  They wrote from their hearts.  So much so that some do not want to share with the public, but they did feel safe enough to share with me and their classmates.  We were all moved.  And through connections and writing, we became closer, a stronger community of writers.

Some posted their poems on our kidblog site for the public.  You can read them here. I emailed Sylvia and Janet, and they both graciously left comments. I can’t wait to share these on Monday. #Gratitude for digital spaces that allow this immediate and authentic feedback.

Erin handed me her poem and asked that I publish it on my blog.  She is bi-racial.  Her mother is from the Philippines.  She is determined to fight the stereotypes.

Poetry Friday: Stereotypes

by Erin

Today
I am
not just another stereotypical Asian
I’m someone who doesn’t want to be a doctor
I’m someone who isn’t just a goody-two-shoes
I’m not someone who thinks studying is more important than friends
I’m someone who doesn’t always make good grades
I’m someone who will never be just another Asian
I’m someone who will crush these stereotypes and others like it

I write alongside my students.  When I wrote this last line, little did I know how true it was.  My students find poems and express their hearts.

Today
I am
someone who welcomes toe tickles from my dog, Charlie
someone who froths milk for coffee every day
someone who looks at nature for inspiration
someone who finds poems hiding in her junk drawer
someone who finds poems in the hearts of children

— Margaret Simon

 

Please join the conversation today with your link.

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satsuma-candle

 

light the lanterns
darkness is trying to win
solstice seeks solace

–Margaret Simon

Mary Lee Hahn calls us poet/bloggers to write a haiku-a-day in December.  #haikuforhealing

For my first haiku, I stole Mary Lee’s last line.  Would someone like to steal my last line and make a new haiku?

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Poetry Friday round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

Poetry Friday round-up is with Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe

A few weeks ago, Mary Lee Hahn posted her poem Gratitude List as an exercise after Laura Foley’s Gratitude List. I immediately saved it to do with my students. This was the week of Gratitude, eating popcorn (Popcorn & Poetry), and writing our own Gratitude List. My students responded well to Laura Foley’s as well as Mary Lee’s poems. See this post to read these mentor texts.

As always, I write alongside my kids, so with a handful of popcorn and pictures from my trip to Tara’s farm, I fashioned my own version.

 

 

Praise be the morning mist,
the dewy grass, the crisp air,
and that moonrise last night
we raised a glass to.

 

Praise be a gathering of friends,
travels across miles, and the dog
that greeted each of us with a wagging tail.

 

Praise be the morning coffee, pancakes
covered in blueberries and maple syrup,
sweet, cool watermelon.
Praise be the wildflowers
in a canning jar.

–Margaret Simon (For Tara Smith)

I want to share a few lines from my students, too.

Praise be this afternoon
for gifted, the relaxing writing,
the fun of talking to friends,
reading a book.

Praise be Frootloop breakfast,
the hard floor under our feet
and a roof above our heads
and sunshine
after the flood.

–Madison, 3rd grade

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Laura Shovan is a poet who shares the love. For her birthday month, February, she commits to writing poems every day and shares the experience with anyone who dares to jump in to the party. Read her introduction to the project here.

I have joined in her project every year and find the experience challenging, inspiring, and enriching. I don’t know if I get better at writing poems, but I know for sure that this is a welcoming and passionate-about-poetry group. I am honored to host today.

In preparation for this month of writing, Laura called for images of found objects. I sent her this image of lotus seed pods I picked up out of the swamp on a winter canoe trip. They sit in a pottery piece that is also reminiscent of nature.

lotus pods

Diane Mayr was considering skipping today. And that very thought made her write a skippy poem. You never know where the muse may hide. I love the rhythm of the flower names and of course, the final truth.

Mama Planted a Garden
(a skipping rhyme)

Mama planted a garden,
but it came up weeds.
Oh, my silly Mama!
You planted the wrong seeds.

No, my little Missy,
they were the right ones.
A flower to a father
may be a weed to the son!

Buttercup, aster, and bergamot.
Maiden pink, dandelion, forget-me-not.

Columbine, bunchberry, periwinkle.
Violet, lady slipper, honeysuckle.

Always remember this,
my little daughter:
one person’s weed
is another one’s flower!
–Diane Mayr

Patricia VanAmburg did some research on lotus pods and found out there is a disease, Trypophobia—fear of holes. So she wrote a rather empty poem about that feeling of empty nest, one I know all too well.

Empty

Of what use this pod
Without her seeds
Temporary filler for
More fruitful flowers
But every life
Returns to earth
Fragile as the cradle
In an attic corner
Brittle as mother’s ribs
After every baby has gone
–Patricia VanAmburg

Jessica Bigi sent an image of a lotus flower while she takes us back to ancient rituals.

Photo and poem by Jessica Bigi, all rights reserved.

Photo and poem by Jessica Bigi, all rights reserved.

Carol Varsalona is cross-posting her poems on her blog. I love how she is digitally playing with the image as well. I imagine sitting with Carol enjoying a warm cup of coffee and the quiet.

A Hushed Quiet

As I sit by the window,
the morning sun
drifts on in,
singing the praises
of yet another day.
A zen-like quality emerges.
Rays bouncing from
winter white blankets
bring outdoors in.
A hushed quiet
envelops the room.
In a corner,
upon a mat of bamboo,
cut-open pods of grace
in triad formation
adorn a desk
of muted colors.
Indoor life merges
with outdoor sights
in a seasonal burst,
reminding me that
new life is waiting
in an early spring.

©Carol Varsalona, 2016

Violet also did her research on Trypophobia and wrote an erasure poem from an article on Mental Floss.  Who knew?  I certainly did not.  Thanks for the learning as well as the poetry.

Trypophobia

skin crawls, heart flutters
shoulders tighten, I shiver
crazy revulsion to holes, bumps
images of holes, parasites
bot flies, worms, ravages of disease
pregnant suriname toad
lotus seed head
give people trypophobic
heebie jeebies
soap bubbles trigger
nightmares

~ Violet Nesdoly

Heidi Mordhorst digs into the earth to consider how an anthropologist looks at things.

Day 10
anthropology

once thought to be
an elaborately carved musical
instrument used
only on the wedding day
of a woman born under
the eleventh moon

it is now understood to be
a deliberately culled muscular
implement used
only on the winding way
of a man burned under
the oppressive soon

context is everything

Here’s another from Heidi. This one is a child’s wonderment at the things of this world.

Making Sense

First it’s something to see–
almost black among the greens and yellows,
scalloped around the edges like
crayon clouds or flowers,
clouds full of black hailstones–
or it’s a leopard-skin jellyfish.

Next it’s something to hold–
not weighty like a microphone
or a metal shower head,
but light and hollow, not plastic
and not wood, part smooth
and part ridged and rumpled.

Now it’s something to hear–
take it by the curving handle oh!
is that a stem? and shake, shake
shake–those blackish beads or
beans or oh! they’re seeds!
they make a marvelous rattling!

~Heidi Mordhorst 2016
all rights reserved

Donna Smith makes a simple poem reveal a truth of nature.  Love the alliteration, one of my favorite literary devices.  I think Donna is a little bit chilly in Maine, so she has thoughts of overcoats.

PODS

Purposefully plopping pondward
Out of open overcoat
Drooping, dropping down
Swamped seeds settle, silently sprout.

©2016, Donna JT Smith, all rights reserved

 

And Mary Lee chimes in with this little ditty.  She is a master at metaphor.

Day 10

when your plate is full —
seed ideas lined up in rows —
give thanks for fulsome seasons

–Mary Lee Hahn

 

Linda Baie finds the music in the lotus pod, the sound that remains after the blooming is done.  Is this a metaphor for life?

A Lotus Life

I remember that delicate blossom;
You burst with all life’s colors,
and the minutes moved,
the days passed.
More beyond the hues emerged.
You nourished;
we were thankful.
You gave all you were able.
At the end, the music remained,
only the music displayed.
It was enough.
Linda Baie ©All Rights Reserved

 

 

To write my own poem, I turned to form and tried out a Bio-poem. Laura Purdie Salas used this form with 3rd graders this week. See her post here.

Lotus
mystical, pure, beauty, enlightened
Daughter of Bodhi
Lover of muddy water, sun, and spring
Who feels spiritual, open to the light
Who gives wisdom, joy, and peace
Who fears storms, drowning, neglect
Who would like to see the ocean (Is it as blue as me?),
tomorrow (My life is fleeting.),
and world peace (Doesn’t everyone wish for world peace?)
Who lives in Atchafalaya Swamp
Who knows noble truths
Lily of the Mud.
–Margaret Simon

And here is Laura with another of my favorite forms, a Fib poem. Read more about Fib poems here.

Lotus Pod Fibonacci
By Laura Shovan

Three
brown
pods shake
rattle, roll.
Seeds fly. We stomp them
into the ground, part of the dance.

Molly Hogan was flying under the radar with her first attempt at haiku. This challenge is pushing us all to find what form fits best.

Day 10 –My first attempt at haiku.

Autumn maracas
Invite you to merengue
Shake a leg, baby!
–Molly Hogan

Catherine Flynn found the lyrics to the life cycle of a lotus at the New York Botanical Garden.

Photo and poem by Catherine Flynn, all rights reserved.

Photo and poem by Catherine Flynn, all rights reserved.

Buffy Silverman offers another haiku, which is the ultimate nature poetic form. Hard to capture a moment in few syllables.

dried lotus pods
shriveled and moored in mud
cradle tomorrow
–Buffy Silverman

What’s a poetry parade without Charles Waters? He bounced in with this sunshine.

LOTUS FLOWER (HEY BUDS)
Fuchsia covered buds
stretch out in praise of morning
revealing their sun-shined heart.

(c) Charles Waters 2016

lotus pods
seed mysteries
three days
of flowering
rebirth
an open heart

© 2016 Jone Rush MacCulloch all rights reserved

If you have a poem for today’s found object, put it in the comments and I will add it to the post. Thanks again for joining us and for reading all the way through to the end. Mardi Gras ended yesterday, but this is a joyful parade of poems to keep you passin’ a good time!

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